Certainly there are days for instruments. I tend to have the classical music radio station on in the car most of the time. I’ve noted that there are days when I really like a bit of French baroque driven by a Cello. It could be that’s cause I’ve found the A has resonance with me somehow. But then there are other days that the very same piece will grate no end on my ears. It’s the very same with a oboes, violins and flute. And it isn’t that one is having a bad day. And it isn’t that I’m an old fogey. Frankly on that score I was more an old fogeyย at 18 than I am now.
Of late I’m not so enamoured with Mozart or Beethoven. There is a certain degree of virtuosity with those two that’s terribly tedious. And where once I revelled in the symmetry I now find them over controlled. Nowadays I rather like the modern (post WWII) classical music. I liken it to a closeup of a stained glass window, with you forced to process contrary juxtapositions with odd bridges holding it together. But if you have patience to listen a few times over a few years they are eye-openers.
What I’m less sure about is the mood changing ability of music. Leastwise, not without huge buy-in. And normally as an undercurrent to a story. Thinking of a Hitchcock film. But on its own I’m less certain. But I do suspect that should a mother record her normal voice while pregnant and that note converted to a repeated muted recording, it would calm the child after it was born. Kinda what I’m saying is if you are really racked off about something it’s very unlikely listening to a symphony will help matters. But watching an opera just might.

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10 Responses to Moods

  1. Kelly says:

    I keep my car on smooth jazz most of the time. Although I enjoy classical, it’s not often a “go to” genre for me. When I do, I tend to stick with the more “controlled” or “symmetrical”, as you put it. For example, I like the predictability of things like Bach Inventions.

    I do believe music alone can be a mood changer. I have a couple of LPs that always work magic for me when I need them. Mix in a good jigsaw puzzle with the music and we’re talking serious therapy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • V.H says:

      But that’s kinda what I mean. You can enhance the mood, but I don’t know if you can change your mood. It’s why I went to the A note on the cello. A long slow drawing. I first noticed that with the guitar, it resonated in me. At least it does ninety percent of the time, but the other ten it has the opposite. Like chalk on the black board opposite.
      I’d believed that the old recording of the blues. You know how the voice of the men can get high, was a problem with the way it was recorded but this could be due to TB or any long term infection. There can be a huge difference from the thirties to the fifties that I took to be technical advance. It was, but the advance was widespread availability of antibiotics mostly. I was reading that the medics could hear the type of infection. This was years ago, and it’s only lately it dawned what they were on about. Course it’s impossible to check.

      • Kelly says:

        That’s certainly an interesting premise about “hearing” the type of infection based on the sound of the voice. Believable, too, when you consider medicinal folklore over the ages.

        I still believe music can change a mood, not just enhance it. Perhaps it’s only because of the memories associated with certain songs or sounds, but still…. (the same could be said for smells and tastes as well)

        • V.H says:

          I wonder if it’s as evocative on its own as smell. With adult human beings. I see with the way Jessie snuggles to me when she is ill that it comforts her. Usually she wants to be near my torso but ill it’s with her ear on or next my heart. I think it came from when she was gestating in her mom next her litter mates. You see I wonder if it is trained out of us, and cannot be deployed on its own.

  2. Kimberly says:

    Somehow I missed this one yesterday. Music theory is something I know very little about, but it is probably the art form that resonates the most with me. I find that music can very much be tied to my mood. But I think what you’re saying is that it may not be causing your mood/emotions but enhance them?
    I’ve got more to say as it’s an interesting topic, but I gotta go to work. I’ll add more later. Sorry I missed it last night.

    • V.H says:

      No worries.
      Actually I’ve been watching photography tutorials on the tablet from my bed much of the time.

      Yes yes, that’s it exactly. I think sound needs to be primordial for it to evoke emotion on it’s own. I’m not saying it doesn’t enhance mood or its opposite. But while driving it’s not the prime sense in use, being a long way behind sight and touch.
      And in a way it’s what the accident reports are showing when call records for mobile phone use is included in the stats. There’s a sharp uptick while the phone is active and then a sloping fall off in the few minutes afterwards where they are suggesting that’s where we’re processing the conversation in our head.

      • Kimberly says:

        What I also think is interesting with music is how it can be linked to past events and how hearing it can flood you with memories, like the event just happened. And so many pieces of music are written to be in a specific mood. Listening to a sad piece when you’re sad is going to enhance that emotion. However, I do think listening to a sad piece when you’re content can bring you down a bit and the opposite – hearing an upbeat, fun song when you’re down can help too. It may not be a permanent solution, but I think there is a case for music being able to manipulate moods. Music is used as a therapeutic device by music therapists.
        I do find that the music I’m listening to when I drive affects the speed at which I drive and the frustration level I have with other drivers. I’ve had to ban anything hardcore in the car for my safety. ๐Ÿ™‚
        As for the phones, they have turned people into THE WORST drivers. It’s against the law in CA to drive while talking on the phone without using a handsfree type device. But even so, people become completely oblivious to the road when on a call. It’s like the old “you can’t pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time”.

        • V.H says:

          But it isn’t visceral like smell. We have to deploy processor power to deal with it. That’s why phones are so dangerous in cars. You see even though most places have laws against holding the phone while driving. The stats for accidents don’t differentiate between handheld or not. It’s the call itself they can count. And how soon after any call to the driver the crash occurs. This might, MIGHT, point to causality that is quite distinct.
          I will say the Ride of the Valkyries or the 1812 overture. But William Tell Overture Finale is pretty good to for the heavy footed as well. Sorta gangstaa blasting to ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Kimberly says:

          All nice pieces, definitely decent for a drive, although a few sections might get me going too fast. It doesn’t take much with a lead foot. ๐Ÿ™‚
          Good info on that Mendelssohn piece you linked. I’m familiar with the sound of it, but not its background.

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